postheadericon Ropers ride lead into final round

Cole Dorenkamp, right, and Bret Tonozzi stopped the clock in 6.0 seconds to win the first round in Eagle by more than a second. (TODD BREWER PHOTO)

Cole Dorenkamp, right, and Bret Tonozzi stopped the clock in 6.0 seconds to win the first round in Eagle by more than a second. (TODD BREWER PHOTO)

EAGLE, Colo. – Big leads mean very little in the world of rodeo.

There is no blowout when times are measured in tenths of a second. Bret Tonozzi has been around the game long enough that he understands all the things that can happen when cowboys ride fast horses and try to stop the clock in blazing speed.

So does his young partner, Cole Dorenkamp. The Colorado team ropers posted a 6.0-second run Thursday night to win the first round of the Eagle County Fair and Rodeo. They return Friday to run their second steer and see if they can win this prestigious rodeo.

“I’ve been here a lot, but I don’t think I’ve ever won this rodeo,” said Tonozzi, a heeler from Fruita, Colo. “It’s a beautiful place, a good committee, and they’ve got a lot of great fans.”

Of course, Tonozzi has a pretty salty header in Dorenkamp. The duo shared the title in Gunnison, Colo., last weekend and are carrying a hot streak through this portion of July.

“I just wanted to get a good start and not break the barrier,” Dorenkamp said. “I wanted to score the steer and let him out.”

Now the two have a 1.1-second lead heading into the second round.

“You still need to win it,” he said.

They captured a payout of $752 each, then got back in their truck and trailer rigs and headed back north.

“We roped in Cheyenne this morning, and we’re up again in the morning,” Tonozzi said “We’ve got to drive half the night to get over then and rope in the morning, then come back here tomorrow night.

“It’s a lot, but it gives us the most opportunities to make money. This is what we do for a living.”

They’ve been living pretty good lately.

Eagle County Fair and Rodeo
Eagle, Colo.
July 19-22
Bareback riding:
1. Jake Brown, 86 points on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Bright Lights; 2. Devan Reilly, 82.5; 3. Trenten Montero 81.5; 4. Zach Hibler, 79.5; 5. Tony Barrington, 75.5; 6. (tie) Jamie Howlett and Kenny Haworth, 75; 8. BoDell Jessen, 72.5S.

Steer wrestling: First round: 1. Beau Clark, 3.2 seconds, $645; 2. Justin Blain Davis, 4.8, $483; 3. Brian Snell, 5.0, $322; 4. Cutter DeHart, 5.2, $161.

Tie-down roping: 1. Kyle Dickens, 8.7 seconds, $677; 2. Brice Ingo, 10.4, $508; 3. Taylor Skinner 11.2, $338; 4. Ricky Lambert, 11.4, $169.

Saddle bronc riding: 1. (tie) Wyatt Casper, on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Deuces Wild, and Bradley Harter, on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Sweet Maria, 83.5 points; 3. Chet Johnson, 81.5; 4. (tie) Dawson Jandreau and Tyler Turco, 81; 6. Curtis Garton, 78.5; 7. Lane Wimberly, 78; 8. Joe Harper, 77.5.

Team roping: 1. Cole Dorenkamp/Bret Tonozzi, 6.0 seconds, $752; 2. Eric Martin/Cody Howa, 7.1, $564; 3. Travis Bounds/Jesse Sheffield, 7.3, $376; 4. Jay Tittel/Richard Durham, 7.5, $188.

Barrel racing: 1. Ericka Nelson, 17.17 seconds; 2. Shali Lord, 17.32; 3. Kelly Koeppen, 17.36; 4. Melanie Roman, 17.62; 5. Jean Winters, 17.645; 6. Cambra Smith, 17.71; 7. Andrea Busby, 17.76; 8. Wendy McKee, 17.80; 9. Dani Durham, 17.81; 10. Abby Phillips, 17,85.

Bull riding: 1. Lex Oakley, 85 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Son of Sam; 2. Dillon James Tyner, 83; 3. Nic Lica, 81.5; no other qualified rides.

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